Rice’s tunnel message to Bellingham shows what Liverpool must do before summer transfer window

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Declan Rice revealed that he assured Jude Bellingham ahead of his World Cup debut that he’d help give the Borussia Dortmund start the freedom to excel against Iran.

The West Ham star certainly fulfilled his pre-match promise as his 19-year-old teammate lit up the international scene with a world-beating display from the middle of the park.

“I said to him in the tunnel: ‘This is your stage, go and flourish. I’ll be there behind you to sweep up and give you the ball for you to go and do your thing’,” the England international was quoted as saying by The Boot Room.

Back at Anfield, Fabinho’s performances on the pitch haven’t been able to deliver on the same promise with both our backline and the Brazilian’s fellow midfielders left exposed by his drop in form.

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We know the 29-year-old hasn’t suddenly become a poor player overnight and there’s every chance he’ll return from the World Cup ready to assist with our push back into the top four spots.

Nonetheless, it would still be something of a gamble for Jurgen Klopp and our recruitment team to take and it’s a position we could really do with reinforcing at the earliest opportunity.

Given that Bellingham is set to rank his potential suitors on a number of factors, it’s safe to say he’ll likely consider the extent to which various midfield setups will give him the freedom required to play his game to the fullest.

That’s not a guarantee we can offer at the moment but hopefully some top-notch cover brought in during the winter window can help rectify matters.

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